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  • U.S. pledges nearly $1 billion for Syrian refugee crisis

    U.S. pledges nearly $1 billion for Syrian refugee crisis

    The United States will donate more than $925 million in aid for Syrian refugees, "the most complex humanitarian emergency of our time," Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday. Speaking at a donors conference in London that gathered representatives of about 70 countries to confront the crisis,...

  • U.S. pledges nearly $1 billion for Syrian refugee crisis

    U.S. pledges nearly $1 billion for Syrian refugee crisis

    The United States will donate more than $925 million in aid for Syrian refugees, "the most complex humanitarian emergency of our time," Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday. Speaking at a donors conference in London that gathered representatives of about 70 countries to confront the crisis,...

  • Enough frustration to go around in Syria peace talks

    Enough frustration to go around in Syria peace talks

    Both sides in the Syria peace negotiation expressed frustration Tuesday with the sluggish progress of the talks, raising new doubts about the viability of the most determined diplomatic push to date aimed at ending the nation’s almost five-year conflict. The renewed sense of uncertainty came a...

  • 'The talks have started': U.N. mediator meets with Syrian opposition

    'The talks have started': U.N. mediator meets with Syrian opposition

    The United Nations mediator in Syrian peace talks met Monday with the major opposition delegation, ending days of uncertainty about whether the talks would proceed. "The talks have started," Staffan de Mistura, U.N. special envoy to Syria, said during a news conference after meeting with representatives...

  • Rezaian "in great spirits" after release from Iran: lawmaker

    Rezaian "in great spirits" after release from Iran: lawmaker

    California Congressman Jared Huffman, who has met with freed Iranian-American Jason Rezaian, says the Washington Post reporter is "on track" to getting his life back following his release from an Iranian prison. 

  • Israeli forces kill Palestinian gunman who wounded 3

    Israeli forces kill Palestinian gunman who wounded 3

    Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian on Sunday after he opened fire at a West Bank checkpoint and wounded three people, the military said. The attacker got out of his vehicle and opened fire near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, officials said. Medics said two of the wounded were in serious...

  • Her pink Taser, poisoned hamburger patties and an iPhone: the story of a wife who lured an Orange County fugitive out of Iran

    Her pink Taser, poisoned hamburger patties and an iPhone: the story of a wife who lured an Orange County fugitive out of Iran

    When three men escaped from the Orange County jail, officials quickly decided only one of the escapees possessed the cunning and resourcefulness to mastermind it: Hossein Nayeri, a 37-year-old ex-Marine who faced charges in a grisly kidnapping and torture plot. Around Nayeri's former wife, 29-year-old...

  • Syria opposition delegates arrive in Geneva for peace talks

    Syria opposition delegates arrive in Geneva for peace talks

    After days of delay and rampant uncertainty, representatives of the major Syrian opposition group arrived in Geneva on Saturday for peace talks convened by the United Nations and backed by major powers, including the United States.“We came here to test the regime's intentions,” said Monzer Makhous,...

  • Syria peace talks get off to rocky start in Geneva

    Syria peace talks get off to rocky start in Geneva

    Long-awaited Syria peace talks got off to a rocky start Friday, as officials of President Bashar Assad’s government arrived at United Nations headquarters amid a persistent lack of clarity about who would represent opposition forces. A Saudi Arabia-backed opposition faction, the High Negotiations...

  • Syria peace talks include secret guest list and possibly theatrics

    Syria peace talks include secret guest list and possibly theatrics

    There will be no opening ceremony, the guest list remains secret, and strenuous efforts are in place to ensure that rival delegates are never in the same room. Such are the curious conditions surrounding the Intra-Syrian Talks, the official designation of fresh peace negotiations aimed at ending...

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Paris to court investors

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Paris to court investors

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Paris on Wednesday on the second leg of a whirlwind tour promoting his country's opening to the world economy now that nuclear-related sanctions have been lifted. "We don't see any obstacles for companies that would want to come and invest in Iran," Rouhani,...

  • Can Iran deliver on promises to ramp up oil production?

    Can Iran deliver on promises to ramp up oil production?

    The prospect of Iranian crude oil returning to global markets that are already oversupplied has piled additional pressure on prices that recently fell below $30 a barrel. The International Energy Agency, a leading industry watchdog, is forecasting that supply could exceed demand by 1.5 million...

  • Iranian leader, saying nation 'stable and safe,' meets pope 

    Iranian leader, saying nation 'stable and safe,' meets pope 

    Iran's president asked Pope Francis to pray for him Tuesday after the two men held private talks at the Vatican, part of an Iranian effort to take a more prominent place on the world stage after a nuclear deal with Western powers. Hassan Rouhani's visit to the Holy See saw the first meeting between...

  • Five years later, the voices of dissent are long gone from Tahrir Square

    Five years later, the voices of dissent are long gone from Tahrir Square

    Five years ago, Tahrir Square became the watchword for change in the Middle East. On Monday, it echoed with the voices of the status quo. Hundreds of people gathered in the square on an unusually cold and rainy day to mark the anniversary of the Jan. 25 uprising that led to the ouster of autocratic...

  • In ultra-Orthodox Israeli city, a new coffee chain fuels price war

    In ultra-Orthodox Israeli city, a new coffee chain fuels price war

    A giant Hebrew version of the Coca-Cola sign signals the entry to this city, a center of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel. A sharp right turn swoops below state highway 41, and an underpass leads into Bnei Brak, where bold signs warn against driving into the city during Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath....

  • On eve of peace talks, Syrian forces make fresh gains against rebels

    On eve of peace talks, Syrian forces make fresh gains against rebels

    Syrian army troops have overrun rebel strongholds in the mountains of western Latakia province, according to government and opposition accounts on Sunday, marking the latest government gains before peace talks slated to begin this week in Geneva. Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through...

  • Israel's Shimon Peres rushed to hospital with chest pains

    Israel's Shimon Peres rushed to hospital with chest pains

    A spokeswoman for former Israeli President Shimon Peres said Sunday that the 92-year-old statesman was rushed to a hospital after experiencing chest pains. Ayelet Frisch said medics treated Peres at his home Sunday night and detected a “light irregular heart rate.” She said doctors decided that...

  • Despite theologians' disapproval, more Iranians are discovering the joy of pets

    Despite theologians' disapproval, more Iranians are discovering the joy of pets

    When Ehsan Kaveh was studying for his medical school exams in the Iranian capital, the stress was getting to both him and his wife, Rima, an IT specialist. But a family friend, a veterinarian, thought he had a solution — a snow-white Persian cat named Eli. "He said 'Try keeping this cat for two...

  • In Jordan, Sudanese live in fear of deportation

    In Jordan, Sudanese live in fear of deportation

    For two years, Habiba lived with her two children and husband in Amman. Life could be tough for the refugee family. Little food, little money. But they were together and grateful to be in Jordan, away from the mass killing they’d fled in Sudan. Today, however, Habiba and her children are alone....

  • Who is Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the man who stumped Trump?

    Who is Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the man who stumped Trump?

    In an extraordinary interview on live radio this week, Donald Trump seemed to stumble when he landed in the Middle East. It started when he was asked about Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the powerful and popular military officer who heads the elite Quds force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. "The...

  • Tunisia unrest leads to nationwide curfew

    Tunisia unrest leads to nationwide curfew

    Tunisia imposed a nationwide overnight curfew Friday in response to growing unrest as protests over unemployment across the country descended into violence in some cities. A curfew from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. was declared because the attacks on public and private property “represent a danger to the...

  • Diplomats prep for Syria peace talks scheduled in Geneva next week

    Diplomats prep for Syria peace talks scheduled in Geneva next week

    Diplomats are expressing confidence that Syrian peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva next week will proceed, though the start could be delayed amid a heated dispute about who will represent the fractured Syrian opposition. The United Nations-sponsored negotiations between the Syrian government...

  • Israel plan could lead to more Jewish settlements in occupied West Bank

    Israel plan could lead to more Jewish settlements in occupied West Bank

    In a move that could lead to construction of more Jewish settlements, Israel plans to annex 370 acres of agricultural land in the occupied West Bank near the city of Jericho. The land has been under Israeli control since the Six Day War of 1967 and was already being farmed by members of the neighboring...

  • Why markets are anxious about Iran's reentry into the global economy

    Why markets are anxious about Iran's reentry into the global economy

    After years of sanctions and isolation, Iran's return to the international marketplace should be a welcomed boost for a global economy desperate for good news. The country is rich in natural resources and has a large, mostly urban population of young consumers. But the opening of Iran's economy,...

  • Three pardoned by U.S. in deal with Iran hope to get their lives back on track

    Three pardoned by U.S. in deal with Iran hope to get their lives back on track

    Tooraj Faridi liked to think of himself as a respectable businessman, a father of two and karate instructor at the local YMCA. All that was in jeopardy nine months ago when a SWAT team descended on his leafy suburban street of carefully tended brick ranch houses. The predawn raid resulted in the...

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